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ExtremoPenguin

Smaller ships

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I have several questions regarding smaller ships in Rogue Trader. What types of smaller ships do RT vessels carry and in what number? Obviously a lighter bay carries lighters but how many? Ships without lighter bays must carry some small craft to get to and from planets and transport goods. Lexicanum has an article on lighters but doesn't say how much they can transport. I'd assume it is the equivalent of about a modern cargo container. What about gun-cutters? How big are they and what armaments do they carry? Kind of a lot of questions, but this is an area that doesn't have much information in the books yet can be very important in game play.

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Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, how should i put this, it is entierly up to you on what kind of "smaller ships". For example i am using thunderhawk gunships and transporters, so feel kinda free to come up with some other "smaller ships".  

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ExtremoPenguin said:

I have several questions regarding smaller ships in Rogue Trader. What types of smaller ships do RT vessels carry and in what number? Obviously a lighter bay carries lighters but how many? Ships without lighter bays must carry some small craft to get to and from planets and transport goods. Lexicanum has an article on lighters but doesn't say how much they can transport. I'd assume it is the equivalent of about a modern cargo container. What about gun-cutters? How big are they and what armaments do they carry? Kind of a lot of questions, but this is an area that doesn't have much information in the books yet can be very important in game play.

Hmm, a bit of a tough one due to some fluff inconsistencies. Yes all ships have transports, even without a lighter bay, just as all ships have cargo even without a cargo bay and supplies without extended supplies. Lighter bays and cargo holds just mean the ship has enough to operate in an industrial/commercial capacity, otherwise a ship only has enough to operate on a 'personel' capacity.

What that means then isg that the lighters then can likely transport hundreds of tons, perhaps even thousands. They allow the Rogue Trader to do trading on a planetary scale, as well as military deployments. Without one assume they can only transport a few  personnel at a time (perhaps 20) along with their supplies. Gun-cutters are light combat craft, though larger than fighters. They are capable of acting small transports, though with less capacity than a true transport (perhaps 10 people). Just going off the tabletop game i would expect them to be armed with auto cannons, twin linked las cannons, missiles, and perhaps a heavy or storm bolter turrent.

The rule of thumb is that if they have a ship component they can do large scale actions, without the ship component they are limited to party sized actions.

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The way I look at it is that every ship, no matter how small, comes with a handful of Arvus Lighters and a couple of much larger transport shuttles, probably the size of jumbo jets.

That sounds like it's giving lots of flexibility, but it really isn't. These are fragile, non military vessels that aren't much use in combat. Plus even though the transport capacity of 2 Jumbo Jets sounds a lot, the size of even an average small 40k ship's crew is in the region of 20-25,000. As such it would take days or weeks to unload the crew using its own shuttles, and potentially months to load heavy cargo in a main cargo bay.

This isn't a problem where you're transporting goods between "civilised" ports like Port Wander and Footfall, as your cargo and crew would be unloaded by local shuttlecraft run by local Stevedores guilds.

It becomes a huge problem when you're beyond the "civilised" Imperium. The ability to land large numbers of troops is pretty important to Rogue Traders, as is the ability to carry plunder back to your ship.

The fact is that most Imperial vessels are designed for quite narrow functions (transport of ore, deep space battle etc etc.) Most Rogue Trader vessels would need to be heavily modified to build in some flexibility, and Lighter Bays/Hangers are a major part of this flexibility.   

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God this has been done to death on this board and not without reason as it impacts heavily on gameplay expecially if you are dropping/retrieving personnel/cargo planetside. I think FFG should seek GW's ideas on this and give guidelines for what is the 'average amount you can expect for each hull.

Ive pumped for about 14 Guncutters/lighters and 6 cargo hauliers for a frigate, and this was done after reading the boards and punching some guestimates in the calculator after asserting exacly how much of that 24000 crew would ever really need to go down dirtside. But even then I have no idea if this is correct.  

Perhaps some of the gametesters (ie Millardson) could tempt FFG to give guidline for theses. A quick  FAQ online for the most common asked fluff related gameplay questions would go down well I think, a bit like the living errata.

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I could see most ships carrying 2-4 guncutters, 2-4 lighters, and 1-2 large transports (cruisers would have a bit more). The large transports are slow, lightly armored, and bulky making them a death trap if you ever wanted to land one in a combat situation but can carry a lot of cargo or about 200 men. A lighter bay would carry maybe 30 or 40 lighters. They are much more maneuverable due to their small size and powerful engines, and therefore may be able to land under light fire. A single wave of these could transport 600 troops + equipment making it actually useful in an attack.

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Captain Harlock said:

Perhaps some of the gametesters (ie Millardson) could tempt FFG to give guidline for theses. A quick  FAQ online for the most common asked fluff related gameplay questions would go down well I think, a bit like the living errata.

You are assuming I haven't already and it'll be in a book at some point lengua.gif I mean, we are waiting on the hinted-at "Big Ship Book", are we not?

Alternatively, you can always send FFG an e-mail via the "Rules Questions" link at the VERY bottom of the page, or through this link (Rules Questions) and generally Ross or Sam or whoever isn't busy at the time will get back to you fairly quickly.

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MILLANDSON said:

You are assuming I haven't already and it'll be in a book at some point lengua.gif I mean, we are waiting on the hinted-at "Big Ship Book", are we not?

Alternatively, you can always send FFG an e-mail via the "Rules Questions" link at the VERY bottom of the page, or through this link (Rules Questions) and generally Ross or Sam or whoever isn't busy at the time will get back to you fairly quickly.

Good work that man...I hope this big book of ships gives guidelines on these pressing questions. In a sense I envy you guys in the playstesting. Ok...knowing how many guncutters in a frigate isnt exactly major fluff, but at least  your adding to the universe in a sense ( or at least until alan merril from GW inquisition says otherwise)

Go On...some snippets from the 'big ship books'...like for example ....Warp capable ships smaller than a transport?

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Captain Harlock said:

Go On...some snippets from the 'big ship books'...like for example ....Warp capable ships smaller than a transport?

Even if I knew, I wouldn't be able to tell you. As I said, the "big book of ships" has only been hinted at by Sam, though he has said (at the big demo/meeting/thing a few weeks ago) that it will be out at some point. As soon as it's on it's way, Sam will say, and then, and only then, would I be able to say whether I was involved in playtesting it (which I can honestly say, at present, I've not been asked to).

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The "Forsaken Bounty" adventure briefly covers gun cutters. There are many variations as they don't represent a single ship. The one in "Forsaken Bounty" is crewed by 1-2 pilots, 1-2 gunners, and and engineer. It can carry 30 passengers and is armed with "several weapons systems". For the drawing it looks to be about 15 meters long and armed with to small caliber gattling style guns, one large caliber gattling gun and one twin-linked heavy stubber, but you can make your own judgements.

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